• August 4, 2021

Exclusive: Fifteen Percent of US Air Force F-35s Don’t Have Working Engines

 Exclusive: Fifteen Percent of US Air Force F-35s Don’t Have Working Engines

Areyoukiddingme shares a report from The Drive: Atotal of 46 F-35 stealth fighters are currently without functioning engines due to an ongoing problem with the heat-protective coating on their turbine rotor blades becoming worn out faster than was expected. With the engine maintenance center now facing a backlog on repair work, frontline F-35 fleets have been hit, with the U.S. Air Force’s fleet facing the most significant availability shortfall. At a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces yesterday, Air Force Lieutenant General Eric T. Fick, director of the F-35 Joint Program Office, confirmed that 41 U.S. Air Force F-35s, as well as one Joint Strike Fighter belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps, another from the U.S. Navy, and three that had been delivered to foreign air forces were grounded without engines. Those figures were as of July 8. The exact breakdown of how many of each F-35 variant lack engines is unclear. The Air Force and the Navy only fly the F-35A and F-35C, respectively, but the Marines operate both F-35Bs and F-35Cs and various models are in service with other military forces around the world. With regards to the Air Force specifically, as of May 8 this year, the service had received 283 F-35As, which means that around a little under 15 percent of the service’s Joint Strike Fighters can’t be flown due to this engine shortage.

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